Essex criminal sentenced for £17k scam

Sentencing follows investigation and arrest by specialist banking industry sponsored police unit – the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU)

A criminal from Essex who committed £17k of fraud has been sentenced at Inner London Crown Court (30 May 2023) to one year and six months in prison.

Richard Johnson, who also goes by the name of Kwame Owsu Mensah, 38, from Tilbury, Essex, pleaded guilty to committing fraud by false representation and for being in possession of other individual’s identity documents.

Between 7 June and 7 July 2021, Johnson called a building society purporting to be one of its customers, requesting to change the account details. He then used the victim’s funds to make three transfers to a beneficiary account.

The fraud was spotted by the building society and referred to the DCPCU to investigate. In December 2021, officers conducted a search at Johnson’s home address and arrested him. They also seized his mobile phones, a laptop, a laptop bag that contained correspondence in other people’s names, a voice changer device, written cheques as well as two passports and bank cards that were in other individuals’ names.

Upon examination, these items linked Johnson to the fraud. The items also revealed that a further victim had been targeted by Johnson on 26 July 2021, where he used their identity to make two transfers totalling £6,600. Both victims were fully refunded.

Detective Constable Fiona Roope, who investigated the case for the DCPCU, commented:

Johnson callously thought he could get away with stealing money from unsuspecting victims.

Fortunately we were able to identify this criminal and bring him to justice, after working closely with the banking and finance industry.

This sentencing is a warning to those who believe they can benefit financially from fraud, that they will be caught and punished.

Notes to editors

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The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a unique proactive police unit, with a national remit, formed as a partnership between UK Finance, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police together with the Home Office. It is fully sponsored by the banking and finance industry, with an on-going brief to investigate, target and, where appropriate, arrest and seek successful prosecution of offenders responsible for card, cheque and payment fraud crimes. It is headed up by a Detective Chief Inspector and comprises officers from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside banking industry fraud investigators and support staff.

If you think you have become a victim of fraud please report it to Action Fraud at or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.

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